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F-15 basic combat guide


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Hey everyone,

 

I've written an introductory yet comprehensive guide about combat in the F-15. For those of you who browse the forums on a smartphone, it's very data-intense due to many images and some GIFs, so be sure you're on wifi! While this information is valuable for Multiplayer, it applies to both singleplayer and multiplayer fights. However no multiplayer specific things have been mentioned.

Thanks

 

 

 

My complete guide is now published as an article on mudspike

 

http://www.mudspike.com/dcs-f-15c-combat-guide-for-beginners/

 

Want a PDF? Find it here.

 

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/files/1965067/index.php

 

German translation by Linol_Germany

 

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=2821850#post2821850

 

The original Mudspike thread with discussion

 

https://forums.mudspike.com/t/dcs-f-15c-combat-guide-for-beginners-by-sryan-very-img-heavy/2063


Edited by Sryan
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Check my F-15C guide

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From a beginner Eagle pilot's perspective that guide looks clear and comprehensive. Great work! :thumbup:

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Personal wish list: DCS: Su-27SM.

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The second sentence... "takes weeks to months to master compared to years with full DCS modules".

 

Do you know what mastery really means? :) Many pilots with years and years of Eagle experience don't even come close to reaching mastery in a single aspect of flight or combat, let alone total mastery.. I'm not sure there even exists a person in the DCS community who could be called a real master of all aspects of flying and fighting in the F-15C.

 

Considering the spectrum of combat complexity, I would claim it is currently the widest in F-15C, easily surpassing all high fidelity modules and slightly surpassing the Russian FC3 fighters. This is because of the Eagle's superior kinematic, sensory, and weapons capabilities. With great capability comes great complexity.

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Dropping tanks is done using "LAlt - R" and it will drop all tanks at once. You don't want to have any tanks when going in to a dogfight. "LAlt - R" don't jettison weapons so it is safe to use.

 

Dumping fuel from internal tanks is done with the "R" key.

 

Good guide :thumbup:


Edited by HiJack
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As a noob to DCS with 1 month flying the F15, this is exactly what I needed. Very well done sir! Thank You.

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Great job! I'd call that more than a beginner's guide. I especially liked your detail on the pulse-Doppler radar.

 

Have you thought about releasing this in PDF format?

 

Thanks for that great set of instructions.

 

PDF:

Highlight everything, copy, open word or some such thing. Paste. save as: PDF. Done.

 

I could post a PDF copy if it's ok with Sryan.

I am unsure of the rules here.

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"Everyone should fly a Spitfire at least once" John S. Blyth

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Thanks for that great set of instructions.

 

PDF:

Highlight everything, copy, open word or some such thing. Paste. save as: PDF. Done.

 

I could post a PDF copy if it's ok with Sryan.

I am unsure of the rules here.

 

 

:thumbup:

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Hello everyone. Thanks for the kind words and the shared reputation points. It's a real motivation to keep working on this guide. I should have another chapter added by tonight.

 

 

 

The second sentence... "takes weeks to months to master compared to years with full DCS modules".

 

Do you know what mastery really means? :) Many pilots with years and years of Eagle experience don't even come close to reaching mastery in a single aspect of flight or combat, let alone total mastery.. I'm not sure there even exists a person in the DCS community who could be called a real master of all aspects of flying and fighting in the F-15C.

 

Considering the spectrum of combat complexity, I would claim it is currently the widest in F-15C, easily surpassing all high fidelity modules and slightly surpassing the Russian FC3 fighters. This is because of the Eagle's superior kinematic, sensory, and weapons capabilities. With great capability comes great complexity.

 

I feel like I got misinterpreted. So I changed the first sentence around slightly :) I did not mean to intend the full master in the F-15 in all air combat situations. Air Combat is a nearly infinitly more complex than plinking tanks is. Let alone Air Combat with things one cannot even see.

 

What I ment was mastery of the avionics and the systems. When learning a new airplane, there is time that must be spent learning that. After that one has to spend a long time to master her in real combat. The latter can be a life-long journey in the F-15, I'll admit. My guide is supposed to help people with the first part, and set people on their way for the second.

 

with the avionics in comparison, over half a decade after its release many of the CDU functions still deludes a portion of the Warthog playerbase.

 

This was excellent, I very much appreciated the Pulse-Doppler explanation and the easy to understand sample engagement. I understand cranking so much better now!

 

Thanks, note that from a cranking position it is way easier and faster to get into a beaming position as well. So if you someone shoots at you... You'll go green and blend in with your chaffs faster. I might do another example of that sometime :)

Great job! I'd call that more than a beginner's guide. I especially liked your detail on the pulse-Doppler radar.

 

Have you thought about releasing this in PDF format?

 

Thanks for that great set of instructions.

 

PDF:

Highlight everything, copy, open word or some such thing. Paste. save as: PDF. Done.

 

I could post a PDF copy if it's ok with Sryan.

I am unsure of the rules here.

 

I'm cool with this, but note that there's still a lot I wanna do. Once it's done I'll intend to release my own PDF.

 

---

 

Thanks again everybody!

Check my F-15C guide

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Dropping tanks is done using "LAlt - R" and it will drop all tanks at once. You don't want to have any tanks when going in to a dogfight. "LAlt - R" don't jettison weapons so it is safe to use.

 

Dumping fuel from internal tanks is done with the "R" key.

 

Good guide :thumbup:

 

Respect for writing the guide!

 

Internal fuel capability is 13500 lbs, not 14500 ;)

 

As someone already said the fuel dump (R key) would be good to mention, I think it's still a "half-secret" it exists, people are not very aware of it.

 

Added ALT - R

Corrected the fuel mass

Added R for dumping.

 

Appreciate the feedback.

Check my F-15C guide

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So this excellent guide made me think a bit. I haven't touched DCS in a while mostly because I haven't yet got around to getting a head tracking system, and that really limits really playing on MP servers. But there's nothing stopping me from learning avionics, very basic BVR engagements, weapons handling etc in the interim. I was asking myself, "do I want to really get into the F-15C or the Su-27?"

 

This guide really made me want to go with the F-15C, but in the interest of fairness I wanted to see if there was a similar guide for Su-27. I did see one or two, but it struck me that a lot of the Su-27's particulars of tactics in DCS seems a little game-y, at least from what I could see on the forums. I mean things like switching on radar for split seconds at a time to get IFF on IRST contacts (which to me seems very odd), and things like this.

 

Now obviously all of DCS is "a little game-y" to put it mildly. But in the descriptions from the manual here, things like cranking in particular, and the use of ARH in the manner recommended here and across the F-15 forum seems more informed by reality.

 

I can't pretend to know anything about real air combat, and I think I know that high altitude, high speed is a good 'initial condition' for an engagement for an F-15 in reality while in game this isn't so. But in the approach used here - cranking, waiting for pitbull etc (dependent on SA), is that at least a rough approximation to reality? Is it any better an approximation than the techniques that Su-27 pilots would use in DCS?

 

I know the two planes have different strengths and the different approaches for them play to those strengths, but does either individual approach even slightly resemble its real counterpart?

 

...Is the approximation bad enough that there's really no point in me even asking this question? (and is this thread appropriate for it?)

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So this excellent guide made me think a bit. I haven't touched DCS in a while mostly because I haven't yet got around to getting a head tracking system, and that really limits really playing on MP servers. But there's nothing stopping me from learning avionics, very basic BVR engagements, weapons handling etc in the interim. I was asking myself, "do I want to really get into the F-15C or the Su-27?"

 

This guide really made me want to go with the F-15C, but in the interest of fairness I wanted to see if there was a similar guide for Su-27. I did see one or two, but it struck me that a lot of the Su-27's particulars of tactics in DCS seems a little game-y, at least from what I could see on the forums. I mean things like switching on radar for split seconds at a time to get IFF on IRST contacts (which to me seems very odd), and things like this.

 

Now obviously all of DCS is "a little game-y" to put it mildly. But in the descriptions from the manual here, things like cranking in particular, and the use of ARH in the manner recommended here and across the F-15 forum seems more informed by reality.

 

I can't pretend to know anything about real air combat, and I think I know that high altitude, high speed is a good 'initial condition' for an engagement for an F-15 in reality while in game this isn't so. But in the approach used here - cranking, waiting for pitbull etc (dependent on SA), is that at least a rough approximation to reality? Is it any better an approximation than the techniques that Su-27 pilots would use in DCS?

 

I know the two planes have different strengths and the different approaches for them play to those strengths, but does either individual approach even slightly resemble its real counterpart?

 

...Is the approximation bad enough that there's really no point in me even asking this question? (and is this thread appropriate for it?)

 

You can ask any question in my thread :) While I already received requests to do other planes including the Su-27, Mirage and even the MiG-29 I've been pointing people to the excellent guide written by a gentleman named Santi871. I'll provide a link.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By_jGRnxUhnUSGNLeGNZS0R1aG8/view

Check my F-15C guide

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... but it struck me that a lot of the Su-27's particulars of tactics in DCS seems a little game-y, at least from what I could see on the forums. I mean things like switching on radar for split seconds at a time to get IFF on IRST contacts (which to me seems very odd), and things like this.

...

 

If you're referring to Santi's guide, he pretty much spells out what he's advocating are not real life tactics, but tactics to kill things in DCS.

 

The general tactics Sryan is advising here, getting high and fast, shooting long, and then cranking will be applicable to any fighter with BVR missiles. The air is thinner up high, so there is less drag and your missiles will fly further. Likewise the faster you go, the faster your missile will be traveling a launch, the further it travels.

 

In DCS Flanker drivers tend to shun these tactics for a few reasons.

 

One is the Flanker itself. The Su-27S, the model in game, is very much a product of late Soviet air doctrine, which dictates that a fighter/interceptor is not an independent tool, but something that is controlled remotely by an airborne or ground based air controller. The controller will select a target for a flight, direct the flight to the target, and only the terminal attack phase is in the hands of the pilot. In this fashion the Flanker's avionics are designed less for independently searching for and acquiring a target, but rather attacking a preselected target, and building the pilot's situation awareness about the larger fight around him. That is not to say that the Su-27 is helpless when it's left to its own devices, it just doesn't have as easy of a time as the Eagle.

 

Another is the current state of missiles. A years back ED implemented advanced flight modelling for all air to air missiles, however the programming by which the missiles guide are still optimized for the previous flight model. They will pull far too many Gs at inappropriate times, and generally do everything in their power to bleed airspeed, artificially reducing the range of the missile. Arguably another problem is the flight model itself, which people on the forums who are smarter than I am have argued implements an overly conservative drag coefficient at lower altitudes, again robbing the missiles of airspeed. Next DCS models chaff in a probabilistic manner, meaning that each bundle of chaff released has a fixed percentage to decoy a missile, regardless of engagement geometry or pilot manuevers. Compounding this issue, the SARH missiles in game appear to have far worse chaff rejection than the ARH missiles. Finally network packet loss effects missile guidance in game. If a player that is being locked has packet loss, they will either warp, or disappear, causing a missile to make extremely violent turns to maintain guidance or a radar to lose lock respectively. ARH missiles are slightly more resilient to this, as they can reacquire a lost contact.

 

Finally there are also the missiles themselves. With the exception of the MiG-29S, all playable russian fighters in FC3 are limited to either the R-27 or R-27E family of missiles as their sole BVR weapon, which are either SARH or IR missiles depending on the model. In contrast the F-15s have access to the AIM-120 family, which are ARH. This means that in any engagement, once the AIM-120 has activated its own seeker, the Eagle pilots have the choice of electing to disengage and go defensive (be that notching, or plain running), and still have a decent probability of scoring a kill. In contrast, with the exception of the R-27T/ET, the Flankers are forced to stay hot and maintain lock if they want any chance of achieving a kill.

 

These factors, in combination with the inherently disorganized nature of DCS multiplayer discourage BVR in the Russian fighters. The Americans have an aircraft that can better display information, and have more advanced missiles that are more resistant to the intricacies of the game. Additionally Russian aircraft are armed with an excellent dogfight missile, the R-73, which has a helmet mounted acquisition mode, HOBS capability, and is both extremely maneuverable and resilient to counter measures. All of these factors encourage the current Russian meta, which is get low, get fast, utilize maximum terrain masking, sparingly use the radar, and try and make stealthy ambush attacks on the relatively disadvantaged American fighters.

 

Now, this is a valid "real life tactic", however it is generally one used by a disadvantaged force that is attempting to attrit a larger, superior force while minimizing friendly casualties and preserving your forces. Think VPAF hit and run tactics in Vietnam. The problem is that while you can contest airspace and inflict casualties, this technique will never allow you to control the airspace. If you start and stay low both you and your missiles will be at a disadvantage if you're trying to shoot at anything above you.

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Scytale, things to consider..

 

Standard DCS multiplayer missions (the ones where you find lots of players) are not based on realistic scenarios. The main mission for a fighter is usually take off, fly to the combat zone (bullseye), and find things to kill while the other team does the same. It's Team Deathmatch for fighters and a shooting gallery for strikers. This alone degrades the realism.

 

Considering F-15C vs Su-27, the Su-27 is practically forced to use ambush tactics in the mountains because the Eagle's AIM-120 missile is so superior out in the open. This is the main reason. The Eagle absolutely destroys the Flanker in the open, when piloted by skilled pilots. The Eagle's multi-launch capability also means that a lone Eagle can easily give a big headache to even larger groups of Flankers.

 

Now the other features of Su-27 give it the actual advantage over F-15C in mountain combat / ambush tactics / cat and mouse:

-superior AND stealthy close range scanning and IFF capabilities (vertical scan!!)

With a good technique the Flanker pilot can reliably scan his entire 60-degree cone front sector in 1-2 seconds. The Eagle struggles with this as its vertical scan does not lock instantly.

-stealthy medium range missile! (R-27ET)

-superior dogfight missile with helmet sight (R-73)

-superior dogfighting capabilities (unless too heavy with fuel)

-datalink map with AWACS/Ground radar support (if available in mission)

 

These tactics have been born out of necessity, just like many unforeseen real-world tactics have been created in real-world conflicts.

 

If you take away the F-15's AMRAAM, or alternatively give the Su-27 a missile of equal capabilities (current R-77 barely qualifies but would be better than nothing) then the Su-27 would not need to hide in the shadows so much, but could confidently and openly challenge the F-15 head-to-head when necessary.

 

The high and fast approach is actually a very good approach for the F-15C and can easily provide you an offensive edge against a lower-altitude, slower target. You can also get quite long range kills against medium-high targets.

 

The only "problem", if you may, is that high-to-low AMRAAMs can be spoofed by beaming, which means that against a well defending target you may still be forced to close the distance, forcing you to descend on the target into dogfight ranges. Now if at this point the target manages to hide behind a hill, or just make you break lock / lose sight, you will be in big trouble soon!! :)

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